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Michoacana, Taq. La – SHUT! BayshoreOMR: 0.00
300 Bayshore
cross street: Oakdale
ph. 415/642-1612
Map Visits: 5
(Around 2012, after a few years of unmitigated mustachioed success, Taq. La Michoacana entered a period when it started to suck real badly; this was immediately followed by another period when the once-proud taqueria shut down for good. Outgoing OMR: 7.67.)

Rumored to be under the same management as Bayview’s El Azteca Taq., Taq. La Michoacana hurled open its doors in 2009 after brightening up a tired space previously occupied by Taq. El Potrillo. New management added a glassed-in enclosure to the dining patio and extended operating hours into the evening, so effort is clearly occurring here...even if our most recent visit resulted in a ghastly slab. Closed weekends.

Will My Health Be Violated?

07/06/12Especial Grilled Chicken$6.756.25 Mustaches
Swish: burstage abatement (10); size (9)
Shrug: tortilla (7); spiciness (7); temperature (7); meat (6); rice (6); vegetables (6)
Clang: beans (5); ingredient mix (5); cheese (4); sauciness (3)
Intangibility bonus: 0 (of 2)

Could this burrito have been less flavorful? Other than being well-constructed and sizable enough to feed a small group of famished children, our lunch at La Michoacana was a festival of atrocity from bite one onward. Sordid temperature issues sullied this hulking slab from the top down, while woefully heavy additions of cilantro and avocado hogged the burrito's middle section, combining with marginally melted cheese to make for several mighty unpleasant moments. Just-there Spanish rice and ancient-tasting refried beans brought down this sorry slab's fortunes even further, and why was the chicken so dry and dull at the early hour of 1PM? Robust as it was, jalapeño in the pico de gallo was the sole provider of spice. Also: Salsa? Anywhere? Apparently not. Argh. Between the awful ingredient mix, dodgy ingredients, and complete absence of intangible charm, what in the name of the great state of Michoacán happened to this previously successful enterprise?

03/04/11Especial Carne Asada y Nopales$6.758.33 Mustaches
Swish: ingredient mix (10); rice (9); spiciness (9); burstage abatement (9); size (8); meat (8); beans (8); sauciness (8); temperature (8)
Shrug: tortilla (7); cheese (7); vegetables (7)
Clang: no elements clanged
Intangibility bonus: 2 (of 2)

Whenever this well-sized burrito was compromised by its floppy profile, or a merely warm (rather than hot) bite, or its overly creamy guacamole, or even its slightly unmelted grates of Jack cheese, its intangibility was there — like a good neighbor, that’s right — to propel it well into eight-mustache territory. It’s rare when rice takes center stage in a fine burrito, but La Michoacana’s grains were lush, moist, and bloated in all the right ways, and when paired with a heaping slap of delicious (if slightly thin) refried beans, panel-wide satisfaction couldn’t help but ensue at the taqueria table. A bunch of flavorful-enough carne asada was nicely augmented by plenty of toothsome nopales, which helped raise the vegetabular rating to respectability and counteract the disappointing guacamole. No bad bites, alright.

07/30/10Especial Chile Verde Pork$6.758.58 Mustaches
Swish: sauciness (10); size (9); rice (9); spiciness (9); ingredient mix (9); temperature (9); burstage abatement (9); beans (8); cheese (8); vegetables (8)
Shrug: meat (7); tortilla (6)
Clang: no elements clanged
Intangibility bonus: 2 (of 2)

Even if this outsized, soft ‘n’ floppy slab sported a belt-hider of a gut once unfoiled, our hard-hearted panel couldn’t resist its champ ingredient mix, game-faced spiciness, and perfectly realized sauce configuration. Most of all, though, it just tasted real good. It’s true that we never got a full sense of the fine-enough chopped pork for all the encroaching chile verde, and that the lamely steamed tortilla was a limp stand-in for a much more durable grilled wrap-device; still, with a little extra care, the burrito’s flopability turned out to be entirely manageable, and the extra-moist Spanish rice gave everything that extra little nudge into the upper reaches of our eight-mustache promised land. Guacamole was strong in all the right ways, Jack cheese was politely melted, and you couldn’t touch this burrito’s intangible deliciousness with an electric hedge trimmer. But why would you want to touch an 8.58-mustache burrito with a hedge trimmer in the first place? What’s your problem? Are you some kind of nut? Or a perv? Get out of here right now before we send for the authorities.

08/15/09Especial al Pastor$6.758.08 Mustaches
Swish: rice (9); sauciness (9); spiciness (9); temperature (9); burstage abatement (9); size (8); meat (8); vegetables (8)
Shrug: tortilla (7); beans (7); cheese (6); ingredient mix (6)
Clang: no elements clanged
Intangibility bonus: 2 (of 2)

La Michoacana’s Burritoeater debut early in San Francisco's 2009 summer performed so well, we felt compelled to make a rebound visit two months later, just to see. Well, this sophomore foiled zeppelin was again very good, yet clearly a level below its celebrated and quite orange predecessor. Sizable but under the influence of an ordinary, steamed (read: ungrilled) tortilla, this burrito seemed to place a premium on sauciness, so its Charmin-esque softness didn’t surprise anyone on our judges panel; dual salsa action (roja and verde) brought welcome taste and excitement to several bites, however. Other winning elements included: exceptional, chubby grains of Spanish rice; ever-reliable construction; fairly blazing spice; and on an unrelated note, a mighty fine cup of cantaloupe agua fresca on the side. On the other hand, we were let down by the somewhat polarizing mix, which seemed specifically designed at times to prevent ingredient commingling. As for the roast pork, despite being a little too “accented” by chopped green onion — no mean feat, considering our love of most things onion — it held its own amidst the salsa/guac/onion-fest that constituted Return To La Michoacana: The Al Pastor Experience. Intangibility: boom-boom.

06/12/09Super Spicy Chicken$7.158.50 Mustaches
Swish: spiciness (10); temperature (10); meat (9); beans (9); sauciness (9); burstage abatement (9); rice (8); vegetables (8); ingredient mix (8)
Shrug: size (7); tortilla (7); cheese (6)
Clang: no elements clanged
Intangibility bonus: 2 (of 2)

Let’s say the tortilla’s grilled instead of briefly steamed. Let’s say its size is a little burlier, a little more robust. Let’s say the grates of cheese get their act together and melt all the way through, rather than only partially. Then we’re looking at a genuine monster of a burrito. Are we out of line for seemingly grumping about an 8.50-mustache lunch from such a fresh face on the San Francisco slab scene? Probably. We were all set to go with one of the fajita burrito options until we walked in and made eye contact with the dull orange hue of the sauce bathing the chicken; intrigue was instant. We made the right call, as the brightly flavorful sauce paired amiably with the equally delicious, shred-friendly poultry. Never mind the mostly harmless drips — spice was perfectly fierce throughout, and the ingredient mix brought everything together with grace and aplomb, especially the uncommonly great, higher-profile-than-usual refried beans. Few things breed civic optimism quite like seeing a new taqueria emerge confidently — taking a sad song, making it better, etc. etc.